Recently I read a three part series in The Daily Progress about poverty in our area. In my job as the Information & Referral Specialist at United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area, I hear stories of poverty every day. People call asking for assistance to pay their rent, electric bill, water, child care, etc. They also call to get food, clothes, medication, and furniture. In the last few weeks, the number of calls has increased; people have called to get some money to buy gas to go to work. When people call, they want to know if there is any other place besides MACAA or their church. “We don’t have any funds,” they say,” What are we going to do?”
Last week, a woman called asking for assistance to pay her rent. She had an unexpected surgery and complications after the procedure. She has two children, but without any income, she was in need of food as well. In a two month period, she had an eviction letter and several past due payments. This type of call is not unusual.
There are a lot of people in Charlottesville who need assistance and my job is to inform them about the services available in the community. I was once part of “Voices of Poverty”. I had to ask for help at one time. It was not easy, but I worked hard. And now my job is to help those in need. It feels good when I know that the person will get the assistance he or she needs. It is also important to know that there are a lot of people who care and give to the community.
Posted by Martha Trujillo.
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